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The Best Classic Kids Movies That Are Kind of Dark

Updated May 27, 2020 4.1k votes 606 voters 14.6k views22 items

Swamps that overwhelm you with sadness. Candy that transforms you into fruit. A witch that's out for your head. These may sound like the trappings of horror flicks, but they're actually features of a few highly acclaimed children's movies. When you think about it, some of the best classic children's flicks are downright terrifying. The best dark children's movies feature young characters fighting scary villains and often coming to terms with personal tragedies. This is a list of the top dark kids movies including everything from The NeverEnding Story to All Dogs Go to Heaven to Willow.

What films will you find on this list of dark classic movies for kids? You won't be surprised to spot Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory here. The imagery from Roald Dahl's original book is scary enough on its own, but Gene Wilder solidified his spot in countless kids' nightmares with his narration of that psychedelic boat trip. The Labyrinth, starring David Bowie, is another dark classic kids film featuring characters that are more than a little spooky. Bambi may seem like a cute animated film, but early in the story the title character becomes an orphan after a horrible hunting excursion. Other movies featured on this list include The Dark Crystal, Return to Oz, and The Witches.

Which classic kids film gave you nightmares? Give the best movies a thumbs up and share your thoughts in the comments section.

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